Science China Technological Sciences

, Volume 62, Issue 2, pp 233–242 | Cite as

Experimental study of laser lift-off of ultra-thin polyimide film for flexible electronics

  • Jing Bian
  • LaoBoYang Zhou
  • XiaoDong Wan
  • MinXiao Liu
  • Chen Zhu
  • YongAn HuangEmail author
  • ZhouPing Yin


It is increasingly crucial for flexible electronics to efficiently and reliably peel large-area, ultra-thin flexible films off from rigid substrate serving as substrates of flexible electronics device, especially in industrial production. This paper experimentally investigated the mechanism and technologic characteristics of laser lift-off (LLO) process of ultra-thin (~ 2 μm) polyimide (PI) film. It was found increasingly difficult to obtain desirable ultra-thin PI film by LLO with the decrease of the film thickness. The optimal process parameters were achieved considering laser fluence and accumulated irradiation times (AIT), which were found to be strongly correlative to the thickness of PI film. The process mechanism of LLO of PI film was disclosed that laser ablation of interfacial PI will result in the formation of gas products between the PI and glass substrate, enabling the change of interface microstructures to reduce the interface bond strength. The amount of gas products mainly determines the result of LLO process for ultra-thin PI film, from residual adhesion to wrinkles or cracking. The strategy of multi-scanning based on multiple irradiations of low-energy laser pulses was presented to effectively achieve a reliable LLO process of ultra-thin PI film. This study provides an attractive route to optimize the LLO process for large-scale production of ultra-thin flexible electronics.


laser lift-off interfacial peeling delamination flexible electronics thin film 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Supplementary material

11431_2018_9349_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.2 mb)
Experimental study of laser lift-off of ultra-thin polyimide film for flexible electronics


  1. 1.
    Dong W T, Xiao L, Zhu C, et al. Theoretical and experimental study of 2D conformability of stretchable electronics laminated onto skin. Sci China Technol Sci, 2017, 60: 1415–1422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Guo R, Wang X L, Yu W Z, et al. A highly conductive and stretchable wearable liquid metal electronic skin for long-term conformable health monitoring. Sci China Technol Sci, 2018, 61: 1031–1037CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cui Y, Li Y, Xing Y, et al. Three-dimensional thermal analysis of rectangular micro-scale inorganic light-emitting diodes integrated with human skin. Int J Thermal Sci, 2018, 127: 321–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Li Y, Zhang J, Xing Y, et al. Thermomechanical analysis of epidermal electronic devices integrated with human skin. J Appl Mech, 2017, 84: 111004CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Vosgueritchian M, Tok J B H, Bao Z. Light-emitting electronic skin. Nat Photon, 2013, 7: 769–771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sekitani T, Nakajima H, Maeda H, et al. Stretchable active-matrix organic light-emitting diode display using printable elastic conductors. Nat Mater, 2009, 8: 494–499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Su Y, Li S, Huan Y, et al. The universal and easy-to-use standard of voltage measurement for quantifying the performance of piezoelectric devices. Extreme Mech Lett, 2017, 15: 10–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Su Y, Dagdeviren C, Li R. Measured output voltages of piezoelectric devices depend on the resistance of voltmeter. Adv Funct Mater, 2015, 25: 5320–5325CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Huang Y A, Ding Y, Bian J, et al. Hyper-stretchable self-powered sensors based on electrohydrodynamically printed, self-similar piezoelectric nano/microfibers. Nano Energy, 2017, 40: 432–439CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gui H, Tan S C, Wang Q, et al. Spraying printing of liquid metal electronics on various clothes to compose wearable functional device. Sci China Technol Sci, 2017, 60: 306–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bian J, Ding Y, Duan Y, et al. Buckling-driven self-assembly of selfsimilar inspired micro/nanofibers for ultra-stretchable electronics. Soft Matter, 2017, 13: 7244–7254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dagdeviren C, Su Y, Joe P, et al. Conformable amplified lead zirconate titanate sensors with enhanced piezoelectric response for cutaneous pressure monitoring. Nat Commun, 2014, 5: 4496CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Xu S, Zhang Y, Jia L, et al. Soft microfluidic assemblies of sensors, circuits, and radios for the skin. Science, 2014, 344: 70–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Meitl M A, Zhu Z T, Kumar V, et al. Transfer printing by kinetic control of adhesion to an elastomeric stamp. Nat Mater, 2006, 5: 33–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gao Y, Li Y, Li R, et al. An accurate thermomechanical model for laser-driven microtransfer printing. J Appl Mech, 2017, 84: 064501CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Xue Y, Zhang Y, Feng X, et al. A theoretical model of reversible adhesion in shape memory surface relief structures and its application in transfer printing. J Mech Phys Solids, 2015, 77: 27–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hwang G T, Park H, Lee J H, et al. Self-powered cardiac pacemaker enabled by flexible single crystalline PMN-PT piezoelectric energy harvester. Adv Mater, 2014, 26: 4880–4887CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Shahrjerdi D, Bedell S W. Extremely flexible nanoscale ultrathin body silicon integrated circuits on plastic. Nano Lett, 2012, 13: 315–320CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zhai Y, Mathew L, Rao R, et al. High-performance flexible thin-film transistors exfoliated from bulk wafer. Nano Lett, 2012, 12: 5609–5615CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Hwang G T, Im D, Lee S E, et al. In vivo silicon-based flexible radio frequency integrated circuits monolithically encapsulated with biocompatible liquid crystal polymers. ACS Nano, 2013, 7: 4545–4553CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Burghartz J N, Appel W, Rempp H D, et al. A new fabrication and assembly process for ultrathin chips. IEEE Trans Electron Devices, 2009, 56: 321–327CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Lee C H, Kim S J, Oh Y, et al. Use of laser lift-off for flexible device applications. J Appl Phys, 2010, 108: 102814CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Delmdahl R, Pätzel R, Brune J. Large-area laser-lift-off processing in microelectronics. Phys Procedia, 2013, 41: 241–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kim K, Kim S Y, Lee J L. Flexible organic light-emitting diodes using a laser lift-off method. J Mater Chem C, 2014, 2: 2144–2149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kim S, Son J H, Lee S H, et al. Flexible crossbar-structured resistive memory arrays on plastic substrates via inorganic-based laser lift-off. Adv Mater, 2014, 26: 7480–7487CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Park K I, Son J H, Hwang G T, et al. Highly-efficient, flexible piezoelectric PZT thin film nanogenerator on plastic substrates. Adv Mater, 2014, 26: 2514–2520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Joe D J, Kim S, Park J H, et al. Laser-material interactions for flexible applications. Adv Mater, 2017, 29: 1606586CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Delmdahl R, Fricke M, Fechner B. Laser lift-off systems for flexibledisplay production. J Inf Display, 2014, 15: 1–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Joshi S, Savov A, Dekker R. Substrate transfer technology for stretchable electronics. Procedia Eng, 2016, 168: 1555–1558CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    MacCarthy N, Wood T, Ameri H, et al. A laser release method for producing prototype flexible retinal implant devices. Senss Actuators A-Phys, 2006, 132: 296–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Lifka, H, Tanase, C, McCulloch, D, et al. Ultra-Thin Flexible OLED Device, SID Symposium Digest of Technical Papers, Wiley Online Library, 2007. 1599–1602Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Gao X, Lin L, Liu Y, et al. LTPS TFT process on polyimide substrate for flexible AMOLED. J Display Technol, 2015, 11: 666–669CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Kim S J, Lee H E, Choi H, et al. High-performance flexible thermoelectric power generator using laser multiscanning lift-off process. ACS Nano, 2016, 10: 10851–10857CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Dang B, Andry P, Tsang C, et al. CMOS compatible thin wafer processing using temporary mechanical wafer, adhesive and laser release of thin chips/wafers for 3D integration. In: 2010 60th Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC). IEEE, 2010. 1393–1398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Liu Z X, Tang P P, Huang Y A, et al. Experimental estimation of adhesive fracture energy of compliant adhesive tape. In: 2014 15th International Conference on Electronic Packaging Technology (ICEPT). IEEE, 2014. 842–846CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Doany F E, Narayan C. Laser release process to obtain freestanding multilayer metal-polyimide circuits. IBM J Res Dev, 1997, 41: 151–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Küper S, Brannon J, Brannon K. Threshold behavior in polyimide photoablation: Single-shot rate measurements and surface-temperature modeling. Appl Phys A, 1993, 56: 43–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Babu S V, D’couto G C, Egitto F D. Excimer laser induced ablation of polyetheretherketone, polyimide, and polytetrafluoroethylene. J Appl Phys, 1992, 72: 692–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    D’couto G, Babu S. Heat transfer and material removal in pulsed excimer-laser-induced ablation: Pulsewidth dependence. J Appl Phys, 1994, 76: 3052–3058CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Singleton D L, Paraskevopoulos G, Irwin R S. XeCl laser ablation of polyimide: Influence of ambient atmosphere on particulate and gaseous products. J Appl Phys, 1989, 66: 3324–3328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Park J, Sin Y G, Kim J H, et al. Dependence of adhesion strength between GaN LEDs and sapphire substrate on power density of UV laser irradiation. Appl Surf Sci, 2016, 384: 353–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Ding Y, Zhu C, Liu J, et al. Flexible small-channel thin-film transistors by electrohydrodynamic lithography. Nanoscale, 2017, 9: 19050–19057CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Bian
    • 1
    • 2
  • LaoBoYang Zhou
    • 1
    • 2
  • XiaoDong Wan
    • 1
    • 2
  • MinXiao Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Chen Zhu
    • 1
    • 2
  • YongAn Huang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • ZhouPing Yin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Digital Manufacturing Equipment and TechnologyHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.Flexible Electronics Research CenterHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations